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July 1, 2010 Thursday 11:03 AM EST
SECTION: NEWS & ANALYSIS; Financial Services
LENGTH: 329 words
HEADLINE: Goldman CFO Says Co. Lost on Mortgages
BYLINE: Michael Baron, Deputy Managing Editor
NEW YORK (TheStreet) –Even Goldman Sachs(GS:NYSE) makes mistakes.That’s the takeaway from the prepared remarks of David Viniar, the company’s CFO, who is slated to testify before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in a hearing dealing with the role that derivatives played in the credit meltdown. “During the course of the financial crisis, we made our fair share of mistakes,” Viniar says in his opening statement. “We lost a considerable amount of money through our exposure to leveraged loans and mortgages.”Goldman is currently facing civil fraud charges filed against it by the Securities and Exchange Commission in mid-April that allege it failed to properly disclosed risks related to a synthetic CDO backed by subprime mortgages, but the appearance of Viniar along with David Lehman, a managing director at Goldman, on Capitol Hill later Thursday relates to the company’s relationship with American International Group(AIG:NYSE).The hearing is looking at Goldman’s actions with regard to credit default swap transactions it entered with AIG, specifically what role collateral demands made by Goldman played in the deterioration of AIG’s financial condition that eventually led to the bailout of the giant insurer. Goldman received nearly $13 billion from AIG to satisfy the insurer’s CDS obligations, according to The Associated Press.In his testimony, Viniar says he believes Goldman’s collateral calls as the crisis intensified were “consistent with the deterioration in the housing market” and that Goldman offered to buy from and sell to AIG at those marks, which AIG was disputing at the time as being too low.Goldman shares were down 1% to $129.90 in late morning action. The session-low of $129.50 is a new 52-week low for the stock, which prior to today hadn’t dipped below $130 since mid-May of last year. On April 15, the last day of trading before the disclosure of the SEC charges, the stock closed at $184.27.–Written by Michael Baron in New York.
LOAD-DATE: July 2, 2010